HiRez Poll Marillion - CLUTCHING AT STRAWS [Blu-Ray Audio]

Help Support QuadraphonicQuad:

Rate the BDA of Marillion - CLUTCHING AT STRAWS


  • Total voters
    33

rtbluray

Hi-Res Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
QQ Supporter
Joined
Oct 31, 2008
Messages
8,719
Location
Middle TN
Please post your thoughts and comments on this 2018 reissue of the classic Marillion album "Clutching at Straws".
This 2018 reissue contains a brand new 5.1 surround mix on Blu-Ray along with a new documentary on the making of the album and 3 promo videos.
The set also includes a full live concert from 1987 and demos of the album songs.

(y):)(n)



 
Last edited:

gazzaworcs

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2018
Messages
20
Location
Worcester
I grew up loving Fish era Marillion and have a great effection for this album so it's great to finally have this in 5.1. Overall it's a 9 for me, the 5.1 mix is what I would call a conservative surround experience but the quality is good. I found the LPCM mix more balanced for my ears and found I had to really crank the volume and Bass up a bit. The content is really good although I would have loved to have them include a cleaned up Live from Loreley 1987 gig which came out on DVD. The live Edinburgh show however is excellent quality never the less. The documentary with all 5 members is well worth watching also.
 

beerking

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
QQ Supporter
Joined
Mar 8, 2015
Messages
3,699
Location
Wantage, Oxfordshire ..UK
Arrived today.
As gazzaworcs stated, overall a slightly conservative surround mix but there are nice surprises.
I think they wanted to give more prominence to Fish's voice...which is no bad thing.
I too, have cranked this up to get the best out of it...sorry neighbours!! Nice package and for what I paid on pre-order, I'm happy with my purchase.
Just don't expect lots of panning etc...fidelity is excellent.
There is activity in the rear surrounds but some may find they need to raise their volumes a tadge.
This is not as bad as I feared with the change in mixing engineers. (just wish Steve would mix everything really and the folk at Dutton Vocalion)
So the bottom line is ..Is it a keeper?
A sure fired YES from me.
I'm hovering between an 8 and a 9
To give it justice, I will get my ears in tune with the DTS and the PCM versions before committing my final vote.
Incommunicado is very well mixed!! Great track.
It must be, as my head is nodding along...:)
Have no fear this is more than acceptable.
And relax.

In the end I felt that an 8 is a fair vote.
 
Last edited:

MCDave

400 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
Oct 4, 2016
Messages
442
Location
Colorado
I only listened to the HD-Master Audio 5.1 mix, but it's good. I gave it a 7. It is not a very immersive mix, but it is quite faithful to the original stereo master. The surrounds are there, but provide mainly spaciousness. Nothing is specifically panned to the rear, and most of the time you're not aware of much coming out of them. Overall, a very nice, conservative presentation, but definitely not an "in the middle" perspective. Fidelity and clarity are very good.
 

weekendtoy

701 Club - QQ All-Star
Joined
May 8, 2013
Messages
712
Location
Northern MN
I only listened to the HD-Master Audio 5.1 mix, but it's good. I gave it a 7. It is not a very immersive mix, but it is quite faithful to the original stereo master. The surrounds are there, but provide mainly spaciousness. Nothing is specifically panned to the rear, and most of the time you're not aware of much coming out of them. Overall, a very nice, conservative presentation, but definitely not an "in the middle" perspective. Fidelity and clarity are very good.
Not much to add here as your review is spot on. There are instances where the songs make use of the surrounds a bit, but at times the mix is simply reverb. I had to get up and put my ear against the speaker to 'see' what was going on. 7 on the surround mix.

You do get the nice package as with the previous Marillion releases so +1 there.

Overall, a missed opportunity. 8
 
Last edited:

Sixtyten

Well-known Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2012
Messages
137
Location
OWC
I suppose this album is mired with the sense of "what if". What if they'd taken a break than do more touring being key. What if Fish hadn't left? How big a band could Marillion have become? You can sort of hear the songs which would have been released under the "Marillion" brand, scattered across Fish's solo output "Credo", "Lucky" "Shadowplay", "Big Wedge", "Emperor's Song" and, of course "Black Canal". Instead we got, what we got.
I think that the first three tracks "Hotel Hobbies", "Warm Wet Circles", "That Time Of The Night", "Incommunicado", with "Slainte Mhathe" and "Sugar Mice" are brilliant songs -"Warm Wet Circles" is probably the best thing this iteration of "Marillion" recorded. I've long thought that the rest just don't measure up. I'd quite happily never listen to "White Russian" or "Just For The Record" ever again - especially when the other great track they recorded at this time, "Tux On" is relegated to a bonus.
I'm not fussed on the surround mix. It's too "big stereo" for my tastes and it seems also to have sucked most of the punch of the album, which just brings to the fore that this is an album produced by a band on the point of collapse.
I don't think it's great. I'll stick to the original CD.
 
Last edited:

albertop

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Messages
294
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Started listening today: a few tracks in 5.1, then a bit of A/B between new stereo mix and original 1987 mix.

It’s early to draw conclusions, but I can say that my first impression of the 5.1 was that it sounds a bit thin (like the original album), and therefore is very cranckable. The mix is on the safe side but is quite immersive. I particularly liked Going Under and White Russian. At a first play, it felt familiar. I will listen more in the coming days, but for the moment it’s a 7/7.5 for me.

Now, I don’t like the stereo remix. It’s loud, there’s limiting and is in front of your face. There is no subtlety in the quiet bits of Warm Wet Circles (major issue for me) and White Russian. Yes, clarity, detail are there, that’s fine. I’m also happy with the revisions, such as the guitar solo in Going Under, and the different vocal treatment in White Russian, I like these things. I don’t particularly mind compression, which doesn’t seem to be a problem at all here. But come on, why on earth does it have to be so loud and harsh? Quiet parts were mixed low for a reason. That’s a pity, because I like the louder parts of the remix.

There are preliminary thoughts. I’m enjoying the new deluxe edition, even if I’m being critical ;).
 

Juggsnelson

Well-known Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
196
A bit conservative in the 5.1 but the vocals of Fish and the bass really shine. Since this is pretty much an autobiographical take from Fish, it makes sense to make the storyteller prominent in the mix. The live show is cracking and a real treat. The doc was good too as I didn't know much backstory regarding this album. An excellent overall package. I never thought I would see these albums given this level of detail. We are getting spoiled! A 9 for me.
 

sjcorne

2K Club - QQ Super Nova
Joined
Jan 1, 2010
Messages
3,515
Location
Southern NY
This is my favorite of the three Marillion albums that have been remixed for surround, and it’s quickly becoming one of my top albums ever. Really brilliant and sometimes depressing lyrics.

I’ve spent a good amount of time with both the original stereo mix and the new stereo mix. I could probably write an essay pointing out every single difference between them, but I’d say the main thing that sets them apart is the overall vibe. The original had this sort of creepy atmospheric feeling to it, like you could imagine you’re sitting in a shady bar late at night observing all the characters Fish describes. The new mix sounds a bit more “real” or live, like it’s just a band on stage performing, and it often seems less dynamic than the original. I also felt Fish’s vocals and the bass guitar were given more prominence in the new mix.

The other thing about the new mix is that, like the Fleetwood Mac 5.1 remixes, there are all kinds of changes/deviations from the original, some glaringly obvious (different takes and/or instrumentation) and some a bit more subtle.

I’m happy to say the surround mix is a lot better than I expected. Every song seems to have some kind of discrete element isolated in the rears, though I felt there were a few missed opportunities to throw more stuff back there. The tracks with very simple arrangements like "Going Under" or "Torch Song” were never going to be surround spectaculars, but overall there's definitely more going on here than just reverb in the rears.

Fish’s vocals are hard in the center, with some slight echo to the other four channels. Drums and bass are across the fronts, along with Steve Rothery’s guitar. The rears do feature an echo wash from the fronts, but keys are usually back there as well: on some songs they’re very discrete, while others have them audible in all four corners but more prominent in the rears.

It’s interesting that my three least favorite tracks on the album (“Just For The Record”, “White Russian”, “Incommunicado”) have the best surround mixes. “Just For The Record” has the synthesizer solo loud and clear in the rears only, “White Russian” has an entire lead vocal section (“we buy fresh bagels at the corner store…”) isolated in the rears, and “Incommunicado” gets really discrete with the guitars in the rears and the keyboard upfront.

Some other notes/observations:
  • The guitar solo in "Hotel Hobbies" doesn't pan anymore 👎
  • The solo female voice at the end of "That Time Of The Night" rotates around the room 👍
  • The sound effects of "Torch" pouring himself a drink in the beginning of "Torch Song" are discrete in the rears 👍
  • I was hoping they'd throw Tessa Niles' epic backing vocals at the end of the "The Last Straw" in the rears, but it didn't happen 👎
  • I like this alternate vocal take on "White Russian" better than the original! Maybe Fish wanted it this way all along?
  • I did try raising the rears 2-3 dB and I thought it made the mix seem too echoey
  • Though it's mastered very quietly, there does seem to be some limiting applied to the surround mix. It never exceeds -20 dB.
  • 48/24 sample rate: I assume this means it was a digital source?
I’d give it an 8. If you like the album, it’s a no-brainer.

"Hotel Hobbies"/"Warm Wet Circles"/"That Time Of The Night":
38502

"White Russian": (At around 4:00 Fish starts singing from over your left shoulder):
38503

"Just For The Record" (The vocals at around 1:40 are in the rears, as is the synth solo):
38504
 
Last edited:

The56Kid

1K Club - QQ Shooting Star
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
1,643
Location
Erie, PA - USA
This is my favorite of the three Marillion albums that have been remixed for surround, and it’s quickly becoming one of my top albums ever. Really brilliant and sometimes depressing lyrics.

I’ve spent a good amount of time with both the original stereo mix and the new stereo mix. I could probably write an essay pointing out every single difference between them, but I’d say the main thing that sets them apart is the overall vibe. The original had this sort of creepy atmospheric feeling to it, like you could imagine you’re sitting in a shady bar late at night observing all the characters Fish describes. The new mix sounds a bit more “real” or live, like it’s just a band on stage performing, and it often seems less dynamic than the original. I also felt Fish’s vocals and the bass guitar were given more prominence in the new mix.

The other thing about the new mix is that, like the Fleetwood Mac 5.1 remixes, there are all kinds of changes/deviations from the original, some glaringly obvious (different takes and/or instrumentation) and some a bit more subtle.

I’m happy to say the surround mix is a lot better than I expected. Every song seems to have some kind of discrete element isolated in the rears, though I felt there were a few missed opportunities to throw more stuff back there. Tracks like "Going Under" or "Torch Song" where it's just vocals, bass, guitar, and synth were never going to be surround spectaculars, but overall there's definitely more going on here than just reverb in the rears.

Fish’s vocals are hard in the center, with some slight echo to the other four channels. Drums and bass are across the fronts, along with Steve Rothery’s guitar. The rears do feature an echo wash from the fronts, but keys are usually back there as well: on some songs they’re very discrete, while others have them audible in all four corners but more prominent in the rears.

It’s interesting that my three least favorite tracks on the album (“Just For The Record”, “White Russian”, “Incommunicado”) have the best surround mixes. “Just For The Record” has the synthesizer solo loud and clear in the rears only, “White Russian” has an entire lead vocal section (“we buy fresh bagels at the corner store…”) isolated in the rears, and “Incommunicado” gets really discrete with the guitars in the rears and the keyboard upfront.

Some other notes/observations:
  • The guitar solo in "Hotel Hobbies" doesn't pan anymore 👎
  • The solo female voice at the end of "That Time Of The Night" rotates around the room 👍
  • The sound effects of "Torch" pouring himself a drink in the beginning of "Torch Song" are discrete in the rears 👍
  • I was hoping they'd throw Tessa Niles' epic backing vocals at the end of the "The Last Straw" in the rears, but it didn't happen 👎
  • I like this alternate vocal take on "White Russian" better than the original! Maybe Fish wanted it this way all along?
  • I did try raising the rears 2-3 dB and I thought it made the mix seem too echoey
  • Though it's mastered very quietly, there does seem to be some limiting applied to the surround mix. It never exceeds -20 dB.
  • 48/24 sample rate: I assume this means it was a digital source?
I’d give it an 8. If you like the album, it’s a no-brainer.

"Hotel Hobbies"/"Warm Wet Circles"/"That Time Of The Night":
View attachment 38502

"White Russian": (At around 4:00 Fish starts singing from over your left shoulder):
View attachment 38503
The only Marillion MC I have is Brave. Not having listened to them in the day, they still haven't totally grown on me and it's probably the SW 5.1 remix I least listen to. I like some of Rothery's recent solo work and the band is obviously talented. Maybe Hogarth's vocals? Not sure.

That said, Jonathan's review makes me think I need to acquire Clutching after all. Especially if Fish can make a difference.
 

minimumtumbleweed

Well-known Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2019
Messages
158
Location
Canada
After many listens, this mix did not do it for me. Changes to the actual music aside (i.e., guitar solo in Going Under and the solo changes in Sugar Mice) - really, they should have known better than to change the actual music on a classic and beloved album, especially when this release is clearly geared towards mega-fans of the original - The surround mix is dull and lifeless, and does not really take advantage of the increased soundstage. About the only good thing I can say about this release is that it includes the original 1987 mix, which I was not able to get my hands on otherwise, so... yay? Really wish SW had taken this one, and really hoping that Mackintosh and Bradfield are not working on any of the remaining 5.1 remixes.
 

Juggsnelson

Well-known Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2017
Messages
196
This is my favorite of the three Marillion albums that have been remixed for surround, and it’s quickly becoming one of my top albums ever. Really brilliant and sometimes depressing lyrics.

I’ve spent a good amount of time with both the original stereo mix and the new stereo mix. I could probably write an essay pointing out every single difference between them, but I’d say the main thing that sets them apart is the overall vibe. The original had this sort of creepy atmospheric feeling to it, like you could imagine you’re sitting in a shady bar late at night observing all the characters Fish describes. The new mix sounds a bit more “real” or live, like it’s just a band on stage performing, and it often seems less dynamic than the original. I also felt Fish’s vocals and the bass guitar were given more prominence in the new mix.

The other thing about the new mix is that, like the Fleetwood Mac 5.1 remixes, there are all kinds of changes/deviations from the original, some glaringly obvious (different takes and/or instrumentation) and some a bit more subtle.

I’m happy to say the surround mix is a lot better than I expected. Every song seems to have some kind of discrete element isolated in the rears, though I felt there were a few missed opportunities to throw more stuff back there. Tracks like "Going Under" or "Torch Song" where it's just vocals, bass, guitar, and synth were never going to be surround spectaculars, but overall there's definitely more going on here than just reverb in the rears.

Fish’s vocals are hard in the center, with some slight echo to the other four channels. Drums and bass are across the fronts, along with Steve Rothery’s guitar. The rears do feature an echo wash from the fronts, but keys are usually back there as well: on some songs they’re very discrete, while others have them audible in all four corners but more prominent in the rears.

It’s interesting that my three least favorite tracks on the album (“Just For The Record”, “White Russian”, “Incommunicado”) have the best surround mixes. “Just For The Record” has the synthesizer solo loud and clear in the rears only, “White Russian” has an entire lead vocal section (“we buy fresh bagels at the corner store…”) isolated in the rears, and “Incommunicado” gets really discrete with the guitars in the rears and the keyboard upfront.

Some other notes/observations:
  • The guitar solo in "Hotel Hobbies" doesn't pan anymore 👎
  • The solo female voice at the end of "That Time Of The Night" rotates around the room 👍
  • The sound effects of "Torch" pouring himself a drink in the beginning of "Torch Song" are discrete in the rears 👍
  • I was hoping they'd throw Tessa Niles' epic backing vocals at the end of the "The Last Straw" in the rears, but it didn't happen 👎
  • I like this alternate vocal take on "White Russian" better than the original! Maybe Fish wanted it this way all along?
  • I did try raising the rears 2-3 dB and I thought it made the mix seem too echoey
  • Though it's mastered very quietly, there does seem to be some limiting applied to the surround mix. It never exceeds -20 dB.
  • 48/24 sample rate: I assume this means it was a digital source?
I’d give it an 8. If you like the album, it’s a no-brainer.

"Hotel Hobbies"/"Warm Wet Circles"/"That Time Of The Night":
View attachment 38502

"White Russian": (At around 4:00 Fish starts singing from over your left shoulder):
View attachment 38503

"Just For The Record" (The vocals at around 1:40 are in the rears, as is the synth solo):
View attachment 38504
Excellent overview!! This album really grows on you too. I felt it definitely needed a few playthroughs to fully sink in. All 3 deluxe packages have been excellent but this one takes the cake for me.
 

WBP

Well-known Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2019
Messages
159
Location
UK
Although I like the album , the mix is disappointing , very conservative , however the 1 hour doc is great and insightful - overall I'm going for a 7
 

Matt Wilson

Well-known Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
128
Location
Los Angeles, CA
It sounds okay to me, an 8 say. As with the other Marillion boxes I've reviewed here, I wasn't familiar with these albums before I heard them in 5.1 so I can't be disappointed that they don't measure up to my memory of them. This is a solid effort though so I can't complain. Fish's autobiographical lyrics are great, and their bluntness isn't something one usually associates with prog rock.
 
Top